Lessons from COVID: The growing importance of digital marketing
How much bigger would your flight school be if you spent some time and money on your website?
According to Redbird’s annual survey, “flight training organizations ranked their websites and social social media channels as far more impactful than independent CFIs did. As the consumer base for flight training shifts younger and more digitally savvy, this area will continue to factor into who wins and loses in the industry.”
The Internet is no longer a place to simply search for information but a place to complete transactions as well. Today’s customers expect to do a lot more online, and COVID has only accelerated consumer desire to fulfill their needs online.
What do potential customers need to do before their first flight at your school?
Today’s younger, digitally savvy consumers are routinely renting cars and vacation homes, and buying all kinds of products and services on their cellphones. If you’re not able to provide them with the results they need, they will continue to search for a competitor that will.
Redbird’s survey revealed that over fifty percent of larger flight training organizations added to their aircraft fleet, hired instructors, and expanded their simulator offerings.
How does your website meet new clients’ needs?
To compete in today’s digitally savvy marketplace you need to up your online game.
Fortunately, a digital marketing strategy can help level the playing field. With tools like Squarespace and WordPress, and email content marketing, it’s easier and cheaper than ever to build professional digital sales funnels that serve clients. Follow this three step plan to create your own digital sales funnel:
Start by using some of the existing tools to make your website work seamlessly on computers, tablets, and mobile phones. Most cloud-based platforms today are responsive and will automatically adjust the way your website looks on different devices. Platforms like Wix and Squarespace are simpler to use, while WordPress offers more plugins for a more seamless experience.
Next use online tools and plugins to help customers complete transactions online: If they are in the research phase, give them information about learning to fly in exchange for an email address. If they are ready to take the next step, let them schedule and intro flight through your website. (If you make them pick up the phone to schedule their first flight with you they may never make the call.)
Finally, help them create their pilot file at home by offering downloadable forms, so they don’t spend their first in-person interaction with you taking thirty minutes to complete paperwork.
Customers are increasingly used to instant results from the businesses they deal with. Make it easy for them to find you and begin building a relationship with you before they set foot in your business. With the small changes above, new customers will walk in for their intro flight ready to pursue a flying goal, with a completed pilot file. Which will save you time and money and keep them enthused and excited about their choice.
Update your website today.
COVID has taught us that a well formed digital marketing strategy is a requirement in a world with unexpected lockdowns and remote learning. By building an online relationship with your clients early, you can build goodwill and help them remember you as they continue to pursue their flying goals.